WHEN CONFERENCES BECKON

Because of gas prices and the general economy, we writers have to pick and choose carefully when we want to attend conferences. Unless, of course, we’ve been asked to speak and our tab is picked up. This year I’m attending Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., in Oklahoma City next weekend, and the Ozark Creative Writer’s Conference in Eureka Springs in October. Since I’ve been asked to speak at the Arkansas Writer’s Conference in Little Rock in June, I’ll go down there too.

All of these are quality conferences. It’s important that we choose those places that offer precisely what we’re looking for. Be it specific editors and agents, or speakers who can teach us what we need to know about our craft. And of course, check to make sure it’s something you can afford. Some smaller conferences might offer what you want without the high cost of larger ones.
Make sure if you’re attending a conference this year, that you choose an editor, an agent or both, to pitch your work to. There are of course some prerequisites. You must have completed a manuscript, or have a body of work. You should be able to present to them a solid platform from which you can promote your work. Work on your pitch, as you’ll probably only have five minutes to sell that editor or agent on your book.
A pitch should contain the genre of your book, its length, setting, the characters and their motivations and of course the ending. All in 25 words or less. Think movie ads. Well, maybe a few longer, but get it all out quickly. If the agent or editor shows an interest (they’ll probably ask questions) tell them more, but don’t go on and on about scenes in the book. Keep it quick, clean and clear. Look them in they eye, be professional, friendly but not cutesy.
Having a platform is important whether you write fiction or non fiction. We all have to do our own promotion, or a good portion of it, in today’s market. So you’d better have gotten to know local reporters, booksellers and anyone else in the media who can help you promote. You should have a mailing list for email and snail mail mailings. Lots of mails there, but you get the idea. You should also be prepared to book speaking engagements and know organizations where you can do this. Think of the subject matter in your book and find organizations involved in that subject.
And last, but not least, if you don’t have a website get one before you begin to market your work. Start a blog and get on social networking sites (or at least one). Facebook is good because you can set up a fan page where promotion is made easier. Authors Den is a good place to go for that first website because it’s easy and has good connections to Google and other search engines. No, they don’t pay me to refer people.
Maybe I’ll see you at one of the regional conferences.
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in AWC platform, conferences, OCW, OWFI, pitching editors, Uncategorized, Velda Brotherton, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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